Trump Asks 'How Did Italy, France & Spain Do?' After Fauci Compares US Virus Response to Europe and It Did Not Go Well
National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases head, Dr. Anthony Fauci, remains one of the most trusted voices on President Donald Trump's virus response team.
But Fauci's factual statements on the virus that's killed over 150 thousand Americans have often put him at odds with the President, who continues to dismiss the severity of its spread in the United States and the need for a national strategy to combat it.
Fauci was asked in a congressional hearing last week why the United States has seen over four million cases while some of the hardest hit countries in Europe haven't come close to that degree.
Dr. Fauci explains why the U.S. has continued to see a surge in cases while European countries have seen a sharp decrease.
He says most European countries shut their economy by 95%, while functionally the U.S. only shut its economy down by 50%.https://t.co/pYCjQK5bripic.twitter.com/IJdQ2Q1zKE
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 31, 2020
The doctor responded:
"If you look at what happened in Europe when they shut down or locked down or went to shelter in place—however you want to describe it—they really did it to the tune of about 95+ percent of the country did that. When you actually look at what we did, even though we shut down, even though it created a great deal of difficulty, we really functionally shut down only about 50 percent in the sense of the totality of the country.
Which means, when reached our peak as they did. They came down almost to a low baseline, as you've shown very clearly. But take a look what happened to our baseline. We came up, down, and then we plateaued at about 20 thousand cases a day. So we started off with a very difficult baseline of transmission that was going on at the time that we tried to open up the country."
This incensed Donald Trump, who claimed that the numbers in the United States were only higher because the country performs more tests.
Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases. How did Italy, France & Spain do? Now Europe sadly has flare ups. Most of our governors worked hard & smart. We will come back STRONG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2020
The President made the mistake of asking how Italy, France, and Spain did—and people answered.
How did Italy, France and Spain do?
Average daily deaths over last week:
Spain: 2 https://t.co/sSfwH2CWeU
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) August 2, 2020
— jake merch (@jakefm) August 3, 2020
We have more cases because you blew the US response and never contained the outbreak big guy.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) August 1, 2020
USA is 18th and behind most countries including Russia on testing per 1 million citizens ... you aren't testing enough and 2-3 weeks turn around in test results isn't good enough pic.twitter.com/9baTyaS9q8
— David Iwanow #WearAMask (@davidiwanow) August 2, 2020
Please use your power to test more in the US –– every single European country is doing better in testing than the US https://t.co/T4hNLMGERq
If you have doubts about the comparisons of cases and tests, here is the comparison of the death rate between your country and the EU. pic.twitter.com/TQWhhyoB22
— Max Roser (@MaxCRoser) August 1, 2020
More testing hasn't resulted in proportionally more positivity. The positivity rate in the US was around 20% in April even though we were only doing 25% of the testing we're doing today. So it's misleading to say we have more cases because of more testing. That's not the case: pic.twitter.com/MbZEDU6F2U
— 🏴☠️ Maddox 🏴☠️ (@maddoxrules) August 1, 2020
What's more, the cumulative number of deaths in all of Europe is only about 50 thousand higher than the United States, which will likely surpass that if current trends don't face substantial intervention.
People were confounded at Trump's logic that the high number of cases is simply due to expanded testing.
“if we tested less, there would be less cases" i'm horrified that this is our president
— CLAUDIA CONWAY (@claudiamconwayy) August 1, 2020
If we did fewer pregnancy tests there would be fewer babies, too.
— Alex Cole (@acnewsitics) August 1, 2020
We have more cases that tested positive because we have more people who were infected.
You're an idiot. Nobody can stop you from being an idiot, but we can keep pointing out that you're an idiot.
— JRehling (@JRehling) August 1, 2020
The United States is expected to reach five million documented cases in the near future.